Simone E Taylor, BPharm, PharmD, Grad Cert Clin Res Methods, Senior Pharmacist; David McD Taylor, MD, MPH, DRCOG, FACEM, Director; Kathy Jao, BMedSci, MD, Intern; Shyan Goh, BPharm, Intern Pharmacist; Meagan Ward, BHlthS, MDietetics, Research Assistant.
Nurse-initiated analgesia pathway for paediatric patients in the emergency department: A clinical intervention trial
Article first published online: 21 JUL 2013
© 2013 Australasian College for Emergency Medicine and Australasian Society for Emergency Medicine
Emergency Medicine Australasia
Volume 25, Issue 4, pages 316–323, August 2013
How to Cite
Taylor, S. E., McD Taylor, D., Jao, K., Goh, S. and Ward, M. (2013), Nurse-initiated analgesia pathway for paediatric patients in the emergency department: A clinical intervention trial. Emergency Medicine Australasia, 25: 316–323. doi: 10.1111/1742-6723.12103
- Issue published online: 1 AUG 2013
- Article first published online: 21 JUL 2013
- Manuscript Accepted: 8 MAY 2013
- emergency department;
The study aims to evaluate the impact of a nurse-initiated analgesia pathway (NIAP) intervention for paediatric patients in the ED.
We undertook a pre- and post-intervention trial in a large, tertiary referral, mixed ED. The intervention comprised development and implementation of a comprehensive NIA Standing Order. In addition to paracetamol, which nurses could initiate pre-intervention, they were authorised to administer ibuprofen, paracetamol/codeine combinations and topical local anaesthetics prior to a doctor assessing the patient. All nurses were trained and credentialed prior to administering the NIAP. Patients aged 5–17 years with a triage pain score of ≥4 (Wong–Baker or numerical rating scale) were eligible for enrolment. The primary outcome was time to analgesia. Secondary outcomes were the proportion of patients who received ‘adequate analgesia’ and parental satisfaction with ED pain management (measured 48 h post-discharge).
Fifty-one children were enrolled in both the pre- and post-intervention periods. Patient sex and mean age, weight and triage pain score did not differ between the groups (P > 0.05). At post-intervention, significantly more patients received nurse-initiated analgesia (3.0% vs 43.9%; P < 0.001) and the median time to analgesia was significantly reduced (58 min vs 23 min; P < 0.01). Also, significantly more patients received ‘adequate analgesia’ post-intervention (41.2% vs 72.5%; P < 0.001). At follow up, the proportion of parents who were very satisfied with their child's overall pain management trended upwards in the post-intervention period (47.1% vs 66.7%; P = 0.07). No adverse events were observed during either period.
The NIAP significantly reduced time to analgesia. It was associated with high levels of parental satisfaction.